Michael F. Aylward Partner

Boston, MA

Phone: (617) 439-7556 Fax: (617) 342-4913 Download VCard

Michael F. Aylward

Michael is a partner in the Boston office of Morrison Mahoney, where he chairs the firm's complex insurance claims resolution group. For the past four decades, he has represented insurers and reinsurers in disputes around the country concerning the application of liability insurance policies to commercial claims involving intellectual property disputes, environmental and mass tort claims and construction defect litigation as well as bad faith claims arising out of such disputes. Michael has also served as an AAA-certified arbitrator in numerous insurance coverage matters and has testified as an expert in matters involving coverage and reinsurance issues arising out of such claims. He has taken a leading role in the major defense bar associations, including DRI, FDCC and IADC and is a founding member and Immediate Past-President of the American College of Coverage Counsel, a peer-reviewed group of the pre-eminent insurance lawyers in the United States and Canada.

Michael has delivered over a hundred papers on issues relating to insurance coverage, bad faith, emerging liability topics and, most recently, cognitive issues involving the reading of digital briefs by appellate judges; cyber-threats to the U.S. energy grid and the potential impact of the American Law Institute’s Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance on the scope and prosecution of insurance coverage and bad faith claims in the United States.


  • Phoenix Bay Construction Corp. v. First Financial Ins. Co., No. 19-P-743 (Mass. App. Ct. May 18, 2020), review denied (Mass. 2020) - Cross-Liability Exclusion for injuries to employee of “any insured” precluded additional insured coverage for general contractor
  • All American Ins. Co. v. Lampasona Corp., 95 N.E.3d 79 (Mass. App. Ct. 2019) - application of Exclusion J.5 to negligently installed floor substrate
  • Engrassia v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., 205 A.3d 206 (N.J. 2019) -whether public policy bars application of “step down” clause in commercial auto policy
  • AIG Property & Cas. Co. v. Cosby, 892 F.3d 35 (1st Cir. 2018) - whether sexual misconduct exclusion extends to defamation suits based upon insured’s denial of rapes
  • Fallon v. Bond Brothers, Inc., 15-P-875 (Mass. App. Ct. March 2, 2017) -alleged bad faith failure to settle
  • Mount Vernon Fire Ins. Co. v. VisionAid, Inc., 76 N.E.3d 204 Mass. 2017 - amicus filing for AIG on the issue of whether an insurer’s duty to defend encompasses prosecuting a counter-claim
  • New Jersey Manufacturers Ins. Co. v. Federated Mut. Ins. Co., (N.J. App. Div. November 30, 2016) - whether public policy bars application of “step down” clause in commercial auto policy
  • Rass Corporation v. Travelers Companies, Inc., 90 Mass. App. Ct. 643 (2016) - “pre-tender defense fees"; allocation, bad faith
  • Hansen v. Sentry Ins. Co., No. 13-1940 (1st Cir. 2014) - whether former executive officer may claim coverage under corporation’s policy for corporation suit against him for disparagement and theft of trade secrets
  • Klairmont v. Gainsboro Restaurant, 465 Mass. 165 (2013) - declaring that Estate cannot recover 93A consumer bad faith damages for wrongful death recovery
  • Narragansett Electric Co. v. OneBeacon America, 90 Mass. App. Ct. 123 (2013) - whether trial court held that environmental liability claims against excess insurer are barred by statute of limitations
  • Plantation Pipeline Co. v. Highlands Ins. Co. in Receivership, No. 12-0029 (Tex. App.—decision argued December 4, 2012—decision pending) -whether insured must fully exhaust underlying limits to trigger high level excess insurance
  • Rhodes v. AIG, 461 Mass. 486 (2012) - amicus filing for American Insurance Association on constitutionality of punitive damages award for insurer bad faith
  • Cynosure, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., 645 F.3d 1 (1st Cir. 2011) - availability of “personal and advertising injury” coverage for junk fax claims


  • MCLE Liability Insurance, 2020
  • Reinsurance Desk Handbook, Thompson Reuters, 2018
  • New Appleman insurance treatise, 2007 & 2010


  • Emerging Trends with Respect to Allocation Disputes and “Unavailability” (Strafford Publications) May 2021

  • The Unhappy Afterlife of the ALI Insurance Restatement (DRI Complex Coverage Seminar, Columbus, OH) October 20, 2021

  • Update on Long-Tail Insurance Coverage DisputesAnnual FETTI Conference, September 30, 2021

  • COVID–19 Claims: Step Aside Reptile, It’s the Virus’s Turn,  Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel's 2020 Insurance Industry Institute, November 5, 2020
  • Federal and State Environmental Litigation Presentation, The National Forum for Environmental & Toxic Tort Issues (FETTI), September 26, 2019
  • ALI Restatement: What Happened and How it May Affect Extra-Contractual Claims, DRI, June 7, 2019

  • An Insider’s View: The Restatement of Liability Insurance, (IADC Midyear Conference—Santa Barbara, February 2019
  • The Rise and Fall of the Restatement’s, Plain Meaning Presumption DRI Defense Counsel Quarter, October 2018
  • The Restatement’s Treatment of the ‘Known Loss” Doctrine, DRI “For the Defense,” May 2018
  • The Reluctant Insured: Ethical Issues and Settlement Tensions between Insureds and Insurers, Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium, Defense Research Institute, New York City, NY: December 2017

  • American Law Institute Restatement, Law of Liability Insurance, Seminar, University of Connecticut Law School, Hartford, CT: November 2017

  • The Rise of Third Party Litigation Funding and Its Implications for Disputes between Insurers and Policyholders, American College of Coverage and Extra-Contractual Counsel Third Annual Law School Symposium, Ann Arbor, MI: October 2017

  • Update on Insurance Coverage for Long-Tail Pollution and Mass Torts. National Forum for Environmental and Toxic Torts Issues, Chicago, IL: October 2017

  • A Question of Intent:  The Role of Fortuity in Liability Insurance, PLRB Claims Workshop, Boston, MA:  April 2017

  • Instituting Coverage:  The Future of the ALI’s Insurance Restatement, DRI Regional Claims Conference, Hartford, CT:  October 2016
  • Insurance for Non-Coverage Lawyers,  MCLE Seminar, Boston, MA:  October 2016
  • Reading Policies:  The Role of Interpretative Principles in Guiding Coverage, DRI Insurance Coverage and Practice Symposium (New York, NY: December 2015
  • Update on Long-Tail Coverage Disputes, FETTI Claims Conference, Chicago, IL:  October 2015
  • Nanotechnology:  Liability and Coverage Issues, Emerging and Environmental Claims Managers Association Claims Conference, Captiva, FL:   May 2014


  • National Foundation for Judicial Excellence (NFJE), Board Member
  • American College of Coverage Counsel, Past-President
  • Massachusetts Reinsurance Bar Association (MIReBA), Board Member
  • American Law Institute, Past Advisor on Restatement of Law, Liability Insurance
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI), past member - Board of Directors, past Chair - Law Institute, and past Chair- Insurance Law Committee
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (FDCC), Past-Chair - Reinsurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Section
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC), Board of Editors, Defense Counsel Journal, past Chair - Reinsurance, Excess and Surplus Lines Committee
  • Massachusetts Defense Lawyers Association (MassDLA), Past-Chair - Insurance Law Committee
  • Society of Colonial Wars in Massachusetts, Governor
  • Plimoth Plantation (Museum Council Member)
  • New England Historical and Geneological Society (Council Member)
  • Order of St. John

Honors and Awards

  • Named the Best Lawyers© 2022 Insurance Law - "Lawyer of the Year" in Boston
  • Paul F. Gibbs Outstanding Service Award, Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (2020)
  • Elected by his peers to The Best Lawyers in America© to the Insurance Law guide (2019-2023)
  • Selected to the Massachusetts Super Lawyers magazine list in Insurance Coverage (2008-2022)
  • Who's Who Legal: Insurance & Reinsurance (2020)
  • Thomas E. Segalla Award from American College of Coverage and Extra-Contractual Counsel (2017)
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated in Legal Ability & Ethical Standards
  • Chambers USA (Tier One, Insurance Law)

Boston, MA Office

250 Summer Street
Boston, MA 02210
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Areas of Practice

Bar Admissions

  • Massachusetts
  • New Hampshire


  • J.D., cum laude — Boston College Law School
  • B.A., cum laude — Dartmouth College

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